A New Jersey travel agency is betting that quick luxury getaways for active clients with busy schedules will become a lucrative niche product.
Explorateur Journeys recently launched a new brand, 48 Hour Power Jaunt, offering custom-crafted trips designed for travelers who want to delve into an overseas destination for just two or three days.
“Our clients don't want to spend a week in Jamaica or take a cruise. They want to live the destination, meet locals, volunteer in a village, feel the soul of a country rather than be passive travelers,” said agency owner Gabriella Ribeiro. “We take the destination and turn it inside out, showing you the best parts of a place that you won't find in a package tour. We can set up biking, hiking, shark diving, skydiving.” Explorateur Journeys offers pre-packaged tours from 10 to 14 days, but Power Jaunt is all custom designed—and aimed largely at those who want their vacations much shorter.
Ribiero said she created Power Jaunt based on her own experience. “I've been traveling like that my whole life. I pick a city, go for a weekend and pack everything in. And I realized that many people do leave a lot of vacation time on the table. They want to go to Europe but for whatever reason don't want to take a whole week or more,” she said.
With such a quick turnaround, Power Jaunt's arrival routines are designed to help clients get over jet lag as soon as possible. “We make sure the hotels provide guaranteed early check-in, and healthy snacks and water are brought in. We can arrange a jet-lag-revival massage. These and other efforts help the traveler get acclimated quickly,” she said.
The brand's website offers some samples of quick trips but no pricing. “We want the web site to start the conversation, because the cost depends on many things such as the season, the hotel selected, the activities, etc.”
Some of the marketing messages on the site designed to ignite interest include these:
In London: “Channel your inner Bond with a Mini Cooper drive through London’s streets. These small British legends will take your breath away as you don your jumpsuit and take to the streets seeing the big sights, hidden gems, quirky back streets, street art, local markets and more.”
In Bilbao: “Spend time with a family run Idiazabal cheese maker in the foothills of the Sierra Salvada, before heading to a winery for Txakoli tasting and a gorgeous homemade lunch.”
In Dubai: “Take the drive of a lifetime tonight as you dive into a Desert Safari. You’ll be driven in a 4x4 to the interiors of the desert, experiencing the unique thrills of a roller-coaster ride over the sand dunes. Take camel rides, enjoy a Shisha, feast on a true Arabian BBQ dinner.”
Ribeiro said she primarily is using social media to market Power Jaunt, along with online brand ambassadors “who will show an itinerary as they are living it” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, among other outlets. “I think it will generate buzz. We've already had someone in Madrid, we have someone going to Paris in April and we plan to send someone to Hong Kong. It works for us. Rather than spending money on print ads it makes more sense to have people actually do a trip and then use social media,” she said.
Ribeiro already is finding interest among the business and network groups she works with—and she will sell net to other agents who want to book the products, she said.